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Writing Contest Scams
In today’s day and age it is a sad reality, however, a true one that there are many companies out there looking to charge you way too much to publish your books. Some are simply overpriced, others, however, are out to scam people from the very start. In order to protect yourself, it is wise to learn the different types, of self-publishing and what they do and charge. After you are familiar with the different types you can then learn which ones are best to use and which ones you should stay away from.
Writing contests are a great way to get your work published and your name out there. However, there are some that look for new writers who don’t understand the standards. When looking for a contest to enter your work into, be sure it is on a popular website that has a good reputation. Next, look at the entrance fees. If they are over $15 to $20, do some research and find out who the last few winners were to be sure they do have winners each year.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid the unsavory writing contests:
1. Do a Google search on the judges listed. If they are not well recognized online, or ever worse, the judges names are withheld, walk away.
2. If the website itself has a lot of grammar, spelling, and or punctuation mistakes it is a clue that they are not writing professionals.
3. As I indicated in the paragraph above, high entrance fees.
4. Google the contest name and look for last year’s winners. If they are not published online, don’t take a chance.
5. If the winning entries are showcased online, are they good enough to actually have won an award?
6. Are the people running the contest writing, literary or academic professionals you can find online?
While these suggestions are not foolproof, they will help you to learn how to spot writing contest scams.
In addition, you can Google the name of the contest with the word “scam” after it and see if there are any search results of people having been scammed before.
Lastly, Google “writing contest scams” and see the most recent scams listed.
All in all, like many other professions, we need to take heed of what is happening in our industry. When you find a scam, steer clear and move on. Even though there are a number of them out there, it does not pay for you to spend any time thinking or worrying about them.
Simply move one and get your writing published!
As always; Happy Writing!
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